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Region 10 & Alaska Native T/TA

Conference Call
February 15, 2006
Moderator: Christy Cox

Christy Cox: Great. Well welcome everybody. This is Christy Cox, the Early Learning and
Literacy Content Specialist with Region 10 training and technical assistance
office. Here in this office we support the administration for children and
families serving Region 10, Idaho, Alaska, Oregon and Washington, Head
Start and Early Head Start grantees as well as the Alaska native programs with
Region 11 or the American Indian Alaska Native program branch.

I’d like to welcome everyone and do two quick reminders. If your phone isn’t
already on mute, if you could please mute and pressing star 6 is one way to
mute it if your phone does not have a mute option already on it. The other
comment I would like to make is that if you are uncomfortable asking
questions or participating in the phone call that’s absolutely okay. I
participate in conference calls and I’m very hesitant to ask my questions and
usually end up calling the person back after the phone call and that is

Christy Cox: You can e-mail (Renee Andrae) any questions or comments that you have
throughout this presentation so please feel free to do so and also please feel
free to jot those comments down for later reflection or later conversations.
I’m very open to that and would hope that you would contact me if you had
more, wanted more information.

Okay. We’re going to get started. I’m looking at the agenda today. I hope
that you have had a chance to download a copy or have a copy of Steps to
Success: Decisionmakers Guide there with you. It would be most helpful and
if you don’t have it there in front of you maybe you can do some scurrying
and try to get one. We will be going mostly over that Steps to Success:
Decisionmakers Guide and what will happen before we go through the guide
is to actually talk a little bit about what Steps to Success is so that you know
what you’re making decisions about.

So I’d just like to overview the structural design of the Steps to Success
curriculum. This is the curriculum that the Head Start bureau has created.
The Steps to Success curriculum is all about trying to support management
and mentor coaching efforts at the Head Start and Early Head Start level. It’s,
this is the Steps to Success instructional tool is really designed to help focus
around the skills of mentor coaching, the skills of coaching are a lot like
reflective practice which you may already be doing in your program to some
degree or other.

The other part of Steps to Success is that it has an early literacy content focus.
And I believe that these two strands, the skills of mentor coaching strands and
the skills about content area language and literacy are quite distinct and can be
pulled apart depending on the needs of your program. So keep that in mind as
we’re talking about this and going through the decisionmakers guide and also
as I talk through the Steps to Success curriculum. It’s built into four units.
The first unit is called Building Relationships to Promote Child Literacy
Outcomes and it overviews mentor coaching skills like establishing trust and
communication, clarifying roles and expectations between mentors and
protégées or mentors and mentees.

If you’re program doesn’t already have a mentoring system it may be a chance

for you to think about that at this time. What roles might a mentor have that
would be similar or different than a supervisor? Also that first unit talks a lot
about cultural sensitivity, also about adult learning theory and different
learning styles. So as I said earlier in these Steps to Success curriculum
materials the Head Start Bureau has built in a content specific area around
literacy. So while these materials are trying to help programs to train and
create and support mentors by lots of, in lots of different ways so that their
skills can be used in the program with new teachers or new home visitors or
what have you, there’s also a literacy content.

For example, book knowledge and appreciation, print awareness and concepts
of print are covered in that first unit. The second unit of Steps to Success is
titled Observation and Analysis. The mentor coaching skills strand talks about
conducting objective observations, examining classroom observation tools
that you might already use. What are you using when you go, when a
supervisor or a mentor goes into a classroom? Is that observation tool simply
a running record of everything that happens in the room? Is it specific? Is the
observation goal set by the supervisor the mentor? Or is the observation goal
set by the person being observed?

So this second unit focuses a lot and almost intensively on observation and
doing intentional observation with staff between mentors and protégées. The
literacy component of unit 2 is early writing and alphabet knowledge. Unit 3
is about reflective practice and it builds onto the ideas covered in Unit 2 about
doing objective observations. But once those observations are done how is
the information communicated to the protégée or the person being observed?

So the mentor coaching skills in Unit 3 are very much about planning
thoughtful, reflective conferences, getting together with that person that was
observed and helping them and guiding them through the process of reflecting
on their own practice. It also focuses on using journals or dialog journals as
well. The literacy content area for Unit 3 is all about oral language

Unit 4 is focused around using child assessment data and if you were on last
month’s phone call with Gene Gousie this unit coincides very directly with
what that conversation was focusing around the interplay between screening,
assessment, curriculum planning and looking again at child outcomes. Unit 4
does an excellent job of focusing at using data about your students and about
your children to inform instruction and planning. Unit 4 goes step by step
through a process helping mentors to become experts at using assessment
information to plan instruction so that those mentors can go ahead and help
their protégées do the same thing.

And on the literacy content strand of Unit 4 they focused on phonological

awareness. So there’s an overview on the Steps to Success curriculum in the
four units. There was also a Protégée Journal and there is also this Decision
Makers Guide which we are looking at today. You will actually, you meaning
all grantees in all of the regions around the United States, will be receiving
this curriculum in the springtime.

And in these packets you will be receiving four facilitators guides and then
there are four for mentors, the people that would actually be mentoring other

There are four protégée journals, two Decision makers Guides, and two
Professional Development Plans and these two I think are the keys to the
excellence of this curriculum: four DVDs and four VHS for tutored video
instruction. And having actually gone through them [the videos] a number of
times myself each time I’ve gone through them I’m feeling more and more
confident about the content and the intentionality of the creators. The people
that have built this Steps to Success mentor coaching curriculum and
instruction guide have done a really thoughtful job of putting together the
elements of reflective practice, trust and relationship building, using
assessment strategies and they’ve done this in such a way that they’re showing
plenty of examples around Early Head Start, again this is birth to five, a zero
to five. They’ve really done a careful job of putting together the materials in a
way that’s most helpful, most open-ended, most practical for programs.

So they’ve tried to design something that is going to be flexible and pertain to

individual program needs. Along with the physical print materials and the
tutored video instruction DVDs and VHSs there are also online materials that
you can access. On the agenda I did put the URL as And
on that website there are all kinds of resources and materials. I highly
recommend that you gift yourself 15 or 20 minutes to go there and click
around on all the buttons just to see what’s there.

I definitely believe in that hands on approach and I think giving yourself the
time to play around and see what’s available there may be worth your while to
see, get a better picture of what is online, the resources available to you there
as well as what some other programs might be doing. I also want to highlight,
I have two people I think on the call (Sherry) and (Kim) from Idaho who I
think have been using the online discussion board. They’ve been posting
comments and questions as they had gone through a pilot study of the Steps to
Success curriculum. So they were a piloting group. So if you want to step on
there you can look at the discussion that’s going on between myself, (Ruai
Gregory) in Idaho and then many of the participants from the Idaho pilot
group. So I’d just like to applaud them and give them some mention because
they’ve been using a lot of time and energy to study this area.

I had built in some pause and reflection time. I would like to give you a
minute to write down questions, think about what I’ve shared with you, look
or ask yourself if you need some clarification if something didn’t make sense.
So please take this full minute, give yourself the opportunity to think back on
what you heard and write down any questions or thoughts that you have that
pertain to your own programs, your own staff.

So we’re going to move onto, we’re going to do kind of a walk through of the
Decision Makers Guide. So if you have that in front of you go ahead and pull
it out. If you have it in front of you on screen go ahead and pull it up. You
might want some sticky notes, just a pad of paper, whatever works for you. I
usually work with my highlighter and multiple sizes of sticky notes to help me
get through something like this because I know that there are areas that I want
to come back to. So I’m going to start just on page 1 at the preface.

So the first paragraph just kind of lays it out for you that the intent of this
Steps to Success: Decision Makers Guide is for Head Start leaders, managers,
policymakers. It’s trying to help you build a system that’s going to provide
your staff with the resources and support that they would need to succeed. If
the mentoring is something that you’re already using then this is a way for you
to reflect on how it’s going.

And if you don’t have a formal mentoring process already built into your
structure or into your program this guide is to help you think about how that
might work. So building a mentor coaching system can really help you focus
on some professional development especially in an individualized way, in a
way that helps staff develop from wherever they’re at and then move forward
and grow in that way increasing or improving outcomes for our students and
I think something that should definitely be said is that while these Steps to
Success curriculum tools were built and do have some structure there’s no,
and it says here at the end of this page 1 that there isn’t a one size fits all
approach and as with all Head Starts we all have our own individual needs and
strengths and opportunities and challenges that we carry with us and have
around us. And I think that in any case this is a chance for you to think about
those individual needs and how mentoring might help you to either strengthen
existing strengths or to strengthen weaknesses in your program.

If you go to page 2 please, I’d just like to highlight again that there is some
information there about Steps to Success. It explains that it’s an early literacy
and mentor coaching system or design and all it is, is it’s meant to support
ongoing mentor coaching initiatives that you may have or that you may want
to have in your program. A colleague of mine really felt strongly to make this
distinction, a strong distinction between the skills of mentor coaching that are
highlighted and then the literacy piece. If literacy is something that you don’t
feel is that it’s something you need to focus on but you would like to have,
offer more mentoring in your programs, please pick that part out for yourself
and focus on that part that you need.

There’s a number of different reasons that mentor coaching system (on page
2) why you might develop a mentor coaching system in your program, those
are questions and thoughts to consider for yourself but there is a really lovely
quote that I’d like to read from a mentor coach in a Head Start program. She
said “Our mentor coaching system is an investment in our staff; our teachers
now see themselves as real professionals. They’re proud of their work and as
a result our retention rates have improved significantly”

So even in that just short statement you hear things about retention rates
improving, you hear about teachers viewing themselves more professionally,
you see that that is an investment, the time and energy spent on mentor
coaching it has the payoff down the line with staff, with children and with

On page 3 it lets you know what’s going to happen throughout the guide. It
talks about how you might select a model for mentor coaching in your
program. It talks about finding financial resources and I would also say not
necessarily only financial but resources in general that means personnel, time
and energy, materials, it talks on number three about selecting mentor
coaches. How do you pick the mentor coaches for your program?

Part four looks at orienting and training mentor coaches. And part five
focuses a little bit on linking the early literacy mentor coaches to what’s
already happening in your program systems. So turn to page 4. And asking
yourself the question “If I was going to have a mentor coaching model in my
program, what would it look like?” And if you already have a mentoring
program you would ask yourself, “How well the mentor program is structured
in my program and is that structure working?” Is that model doing what we
had hoped it would do?”

This page 4 lays out a few of the different considerations when you’re
choosing a model. It asks you to think about your own program philosophy.
It asks you to think about the capacity, organizational capacity, how large is
your facility? How many staff people do you have that could be mentors?
How many potential protégées or incoming staff do you have that might need

What kind of financial and/or personnel resources already exist or would need
to be found? This guide, if you go to page 5, it selects three mentor coaching
models that are most prevalent around the United States. However, I would
really like to take the time here to recommend that these are three and by any
means, phase 3 could be integrated or become hybrids of something that may
already have. The first suggestions that they have of the three commonly used
models of mentor coaching is, starting on page 5, is that the supervisors are
mentor coaches.

And this model you may, their supervisors are already in programs and so in
this way you don’t have to find new people. However, this may add new roles
and responsibilities onto existing supervisors. I’d also like to take a minute
and share with you, I’m pulling this information out of Putting the Pro in
Protégée. I’ll refer to it throughout the rest of the presentation. There is a
guide here, a small chart that delineates the supervising role versus a mentor’s
role and I would just like to read through a few of those for you.

A supervisor’s role may be to rate employees’ behavior and evaluate overall

job performance so we’re talking about evaluation. Mentors on the other hand
may act as confidantes that work with protégées to improve their job
performance and they do this by developing close and intimate relationships
with that person. These two things sound very different. And here’s another
contrast. Supervisors often observe employees in relationship standards.
Whereas a mentor may go in to observe a protégée or a mentee on a more
personal or individualized level, that the protégée may have chosen a goal and
that mentor is helping them meet that goal.

So those are two very different types of observations or reasons for

observation. One, a supervisory role and one a mentorship role. So I’d like to
point that out when you start thinking about the possibility of using
supervisors and mentor coaches and that you give sufficient thought to the
idea that those supervisors will have to switch hats. And that they would want
their staff to know that they were maybe wearing.

Another commonly used model is the mentor coach as mentor only. And this
maybe where you choose someone in your staff and they take on the full role
of mentor and they mentor a number of different people or that you hire
someone outside of your organization to come in and help you with that role.

It suggests that when you’re adding this extra layer of staff and this is the part
that I’d like to emphasize throughout that it needs to be carefully defined, the
roles and responsibilities of the mentor coach and the supervisor if you have
mentor coaches that are, that’s all their duty is then to be clear with everyone
involved what the roles of that person are versus the supervisor or versus the
manager. So if you’re considering that idea that you would prefer to have
supervisors remain supervisors and mentor coaches be something separate that
those roles be really clearly delineated.

The third model that most Head Start often uses is this peer teachers as mentor
coaches. And myself coming from a background of the National Writing
Project and this motto of “teachers teaching teachers” I appreciate this model.
It’s one where you may have a more advanced or more experienced teacher in
the role of mentor. And this happens a lot informally. And again speaking
with some colleagues someone made the comment that we ask our staff to
show new people the ropes all the time.

We may even be asked “can you mentor this person, this new person that’s
new in your staff?” And I think we do that without giving the chance and
opportunity for those people that we requested to be mentors to reflect on
what mentoring is and to receive training on being a mentor. If you ask
somebody to “show them the ropes” or “take them under their wing,” that may
mean showing them where the bathroom is, helping them to use the protocol
guide or to show where the nearest emergency pamphlet is.

So when we say “take them under your wing” or “be a mentor” or “show them
the ropes” I think that we are assuming a lot about what we may be asking our
staff people. And so these peer teachers, and this applies to all of the areas
that we’re talking about that the intentionality and the time and the energy that
you are all spending right now on the phone thinking about this will help
down the line if you do end up making changes to what you are already doing
or adding a new layer of mentoring into your program.

So this intentionality being very careful and supporting this kind of program I
think is a key step in making it successful. That by asking somebody to be a
mentor that it’s clear what your asking, that your dreams for that mentoring
program had been well established.
I’d like to go onto page 7, this Finding Financial Resources of Early Literacy
Mentor Coaching. I’m jut going to highlight a few of the resources that are
mentioned here. And I’d also like to read through the quote that’s listed there.

It says “our mentor coaching system is an investment in our staff. Our

teachers now see themselves as real professionals. They’re proud of their
work and as a result our retention rate has improved significantly.” This is the
quote that I read earlier and I think that that idea about investment in our staff
is definitely something to keep in mind when you’re talking about funding or
financial resources.

In the paragraph of pursuit, where it says pursuit there is a website that’s listed
in the childcare information center. It’s there in the middle of the paragraph. I
want to make sure that you are able to see that and that the place to start
looking, if you’re looking for additional funding or resources to fund a mentor
coaching initiative in your program. It goes through some coaching of be
persistent, keep looking. If you don’t find what you’re looking for initially in
funding resources keep looking. I’m on page 8 now where it says partnerships
and I would like to highlight this area.

In Idaho, I was working with three different grantees when we did the piloting
of the Steps to Success curriculum and the idea of those three areas working
together, those three grantees working together made it very possible for the
training to happen. Think about what partners you might have near you that
you could work together with in terms of developing a successful mentoring
program or revisiting your current mentoring program and expanding it or
improving it.

Under the local and/or state foundations, still on page 8, I’d like to highlight
another website that you might go through for more information. Again,
under that local and/or state foundations it says filings to many regional
associations of grant makers at and then there’s an FD&C Century dot org.

We also suggest, on page nine, that you look to some local sources. None of
this is new to you so I’m going to jump through this. I wanted to make sure
that you had a chance to see those websites however. So we’re moving onto
page 10, this is in selecting and matching mentor coaches. And this is a
chance for you to really think about what would a mentor coach do in your
program or in the program that I work with? And you’re thinking about what
are the characteristics of a mentor coach?

You want them to have professional knowledge and skills and in that sense
you want them to have a deep understanding of teaching, teaching theory and
also about if you have a content area specific like literacy that they know a lot
about oral language, about reading, writing, about the merging stages of those
areas. A mentor though however they may be excellent in the classroom, they
may be a master teacher of zero to three, however that master teacher may not
necessarily make the best mentor coach because they also need to have the
skills to apply your knowledge with adult learners.

And I think that is what these Steps to Success materials offer training guides
to support these people that I’m asking to be mentors. They help answer
“How can I give them the skills that they may lack or that they may need to
develop because they already know what they’re doing in the classroom?” I
want them to help share and develop those strengths in other people and so
this functional skill, this idea of working with adult learners and with people
in the program is what Steps to Success is best at.

So again I go back to that idea of when we ask our staff “hey, you know what,
can you take the new hire under your wing?” What does that mean? How is
that person going to take the person under their wing and what are they going
to do for that person?

So by being intentional and thoughtful about those skills it may help both
parties involved, both the mentor and the mentee. And finally one of the other
major areas that you want to think about when you’re selecting mentors for
your program, there’s a nice quote on page 11. It comes from a piece of
research and it says “in selecting a mentor candidate you should consider two
issues only. Capability, what the person can do and personality. And of these
two personality is by far the most important.

Over 87% of all people failed not because of capability but because of
personality.” So you want to carefully think about who would make good
mentors in your program and then help them build up their capabilities, their
mentor coaching skills or their language or literacy content area knowledge if
that’s something that is a weakness.

I would like to return your focus on page 11 it talks about the selection
process, how you pick mentors. The Putting the Pro in Protégée well it
maybe something that’s on your shelf and you haven’t taken a look at it. The
more time I spend with it the more I realize that it’s a fantastic resource
because it highlights real programs, real mentorship and protégée
relationships, real struggles and real applications of what we’re talking about

There’s an excellent matrix at the end of the Pro in Protégée that highlights
the organizational structure of mentoring programs. For example, in
Pennsylvania they talk about how the mentors and the protégées are chosen,
who they are in the program.
For example, some protégées are new teachers, some protégées simply move
from one position to another. Some protégées or mentors have to apply so
you have to be very invested in the protégée experience and also the mentor as
well in some cases. In other cases it’s mandatory that all new staff will
absolutely go through a protégée and mentorship relationship. So if you’re
curious about how other people and other agencies are using mentoring I
would steer you right to the Pro in Protégée which is a free document through
the Head Start Bureau.

If you turn to page 14 I think that this does a nice job at showing what some of
the specific concrete activities that you might ask a mentor to do in your
program. This is a sample job description that the Head Start Bureau has put
in for your review. It’ s a way for you to think about who these people might
be, what qualifications you might want of them in the ideal world so that you
can start thinking about how to create or develop or support a system with
qualified staff .

The specific activities one through six - when you say “take me under your
wing” or “show them the ropes,” this is what this means. So it does a nice job
of making that vague statement more actionable, something that you can act

We’ve gone through three areas in this mentor coaching Steps to Success
guide and I would like you to have a chance to write down questions in
selecting a model, questions about resources, and comments about selecting
mentor coaches for your program. Those are the three areas that we’ve
covered and I’d like to give you a minute to think about that and ask questions
of yourselves and your programs. So we’ll take a moment to let you do that.

Okay, I hope you had a chance to write down some thoughts or some
reflections for yourself. I have to take a comment or sidestep for a moment
and just speak about myself personally, having spent the majority of my time
in the classroom being a very firm constructivist and believing that I’ve
already had a lot of time to be spending with these materials in terms of the
steps to success curriculum, even this guide, decisionmakers guide have been
through many times and have been building my own understanding of its
content and so I just wanted to make sure that you are having the opportunity
to build your own understanding and make it useful for you. So I hope that
the brief pauses while quiet and silent that they’re a chance for you to think
about what we’re thinking about and do it in a quiet way without somebody
talking at you.

We’re going to go and take a look on page 16; I just wanted to highlight some
of the areas of orienting and training mentor coaches. Again this goes back to
this very critical key idea that while you may be asking staff to mentor or act
as mentors the question is are you giving them enough support and enough
training to do that job well and to help them succeed?

Have you had a chance or have you made the goals and expectations of the
mentoring program explicit? Meaning have you written them down? Have
you had conversations with people that will be involved and stakeholders that
will be playing different roles in the program? Have you had a chance to look
through the Pro in Protégée book and look at how other programs are doing it
so that you can get as many different ideas from as many different sources as
you have time and energy for?

Another area is this emphasis on the content focus on the Steps to Success.
And then the idea that different teachers have different levels of content area
knowledge and so if you’re wanting an early literacy focus for mentor
coaching in your program, that that would be something to really consider is
“which of my mentors have that kind of content area background
knowledge?” And if they have that content background knowledge are they
also good mentors? But if they’re good mentors but they don’t have the
content knowledge how am I going to help them achieve that? How am I
going to help them gain that knowledge so that they can pass it on to
protégées and to the people that they’re working with?

This is all about the Steps to Success curriculum that’s going to be at your
doorstep in the early springtime so you’re ending up with a bunch of different
new materials that focus around the skill building of mentorship and early

On page 17 it talks about addressing the needs of the mentors that you have
hired or that you have chosen or that have applied and in the Steps to Success
there is a lot of self assessment and there’s a lot of asking mentors to look at
their own practice not only as literacy content people but even more so as
mentor coaches. It’s asking them to think about their own development as
professionals and to help them grow in those areas that they identify

Your mentors that mentors need just as much support, we all need mentors in
different areas. We’re all closer to expert in some areas and closer to
beginners in other areas of our life and those mentors need resources and
ongoing support in the same way that you would expect them to work with
their protégées or mentees. So in considering some type of mentorship
program or your current mentorship program the question is “am I giving
enough resource and support to those mentors and if I’m not what do I need to
do to help them?”
One way that you might do that is by establishing a mentor library and that
would be looking at videos that you probably already have laying around your
areas. Maybe they’ve kind of been distributed and they’ve been lost track of.
You probably have for example, Putting the Pro in Protégée but the question is
where is it? You might have the leader’s guide to the outcomes - where is
that? You might have the Circle training or the STEP training guide
somewhere but where is it? And just maybe putting a place or a section of
your office together that really focuses on those mentoring skills or that works
on professional development or the reflective practice process. And making a
place where mentors or persons that act like mentors in your program can go
for help and for support when there’s no one, nobody physically available to
help them they’ve got some written or video available.

In that Establish a Mentor Library section on page 17 they also highlight again
the website, the And I would just recommend giving
yourself a chance to just go click around and see what’s there. On pages 18
and 19 this lays out some of the exact same things that we are talking about,
about helping to formalize a relationship, helping to formalize a mentoring
and protégée expectations and roles so that it’s not a ‘show them the ropes’
kind of mentoring it’s a ‘I’m here to support you in these specific goals and
areas and this is how we can do it.’ This is a sample agreement that a mentor
coach and a protégée might use together so that everybody is on the same
page and everybody understands what’s expected of the situation of the

The last section that I’d just like to highlight briefly is on page 20 it’s section
5 and it’s about integrating this mentor coaching into existing management
systems. Think about your record keeping and reporting systems. What are
those like already? Do you have mentors that are keeping track of their visits
with protégées? If not then this gives you a chance to think about how that
would work.

What kind of ongoing monitoring would need to happen so that the collection
of data, this is page 22, so the collection of data is ongoing and that spot
checks are being made and that mentor coaching program is being supported
and supervised? On page 23 it highlights the self assessment process. And
self assessment to me just really ties into the whole push towards making
decisions using data. Data-based decision making. So what have we
collected? What do we know about our mentoring programs so that we can
either continue what we’re doing because it’s really working or make some

I’d like to highlight for you a great bank of self assessment questions on page
23. It starts just about 3/4 of the way down the page and it says as your team
collects, processes information they may want to find out if the project is
operating as planned. They may ask questions such as “were the mentor
coaches hired? What type of training did they receive, etc.?” I wanted to
highlight that area for you that maybe something to use especially for existing
mentor programs. You could ask yourself and your staff those questions to
help you assess how well it’s going.

And then just as we finish up, page 24, helps you also think a little bit about
things you might look at if you’re doing assessments and then again planning
using that data you’ve collected to be planful and mindful of future efforts
towards mentoring.

We’ve gone through this giant overview of something that could be very
monumental, it could also be very grass roots starting with just one teacher
and one protégée but the idea I think here is that you’re looking at
individualizing staff development and that this mentoring is a possibility for
that to happen. The Steps to Success curriculum will be yours to use as you
will, a tool to help you succeed in individualizing professional development
for people in your program.

Pages 26 and 27, may be a great way of overviewing the Decision Makers
Guide with people who were not on this phone call because it outlines each of
the areas that we talked about however briefly so that they can see kind of a
full picture in terms of planning.

If you slip through the last few pages, these are just samples for interaction
records, recordkeeping, a way for you to track what’s happening for mentors
or protégées in the program or in future efforts towards mentoring. So I’m
going to give you a minute for you to think about those last two sections. One
was specifically about training, how you might train mentors and offer them
support and resources and the last was about linking this mentor coaching
effort into your management system.

So we’ll take a minute for you to think about how that might work or how that
already works and might work better. And then we have about 10 minutes for
questions and comments. So I’ll leave a minute of silence and then we can
start with questions you might have.

I would love questions or comments that people have. What were you
thinking? What did you notice as we went through the decisionmakers guide?

Woman: Yeah. I have a question. This is (Liz) in Boise, Idaho.

Christy Cox: Hi Liz.

Woman: Hey is there going to be a regional training scheduled besides the pilot
program you did in Eastern Idaho?

Christy Cox: Yes there are definitely possibilities, there is a roll out letter that is being
crafted as we speak, has been rolling around about trying to figure out how
best to individualize this kind of training so that the most people can get the
most benefit from it. So yes there is a number of different models for getting
training. I don’t know if that answered your question specifically enough.

Woman: I wanted to know specifically if you had chosen dates for when you were
going to be providing training on the curriculum itself.

Christy Cox: No. Specific dates have not been planned; however this is a good chance to
think about what would work well for you because I am very open to
participating in cluster meetings and/or trainings with your program itself.
Based on my experience with the pilot program this is a pretty in depth
curriculum. We spent four full days going through it and that was fairly
rushed. However, I believe that it was also sufficient.

So that’s something to kind of consider and think about if you wanted to train
some trainers in you program that’s definitely something that could happen if
there are some people that you feel like would be really willing to go through
this either with myself or with one of the TA specialists in your state. They
can also go through it individually without some kind of outside TA support
because the materials are very guided and very systematic so that’s also a
possibility. So dates have not been set however we can set some if you want
to give me a call (Liz).

Woman: Christy how do we get a hold of you specifically if we needed or felt we

needed on site training or local training or maybe a group of us?

Christy Cox: I can be reached at 206-615-2704 and I will also give you my e-mail. It’s in
all lower case.
Christy Cox: The T/TA ACF website also has our contact information. Okay? So that’s
another place where you can find my name and you can also see my picture
which is not the most flattering image but not the worst either. So thank you
(Cheryl Lynn). I appreciate that question.

Is anybody out there already using a mentor model?

(Melissa Hernandez): This is (Melissa Hernandez) from the Riverhead Head Start and I’m
actually the mentor coach here for our program. And I think it’s a wonderful
program. I love my job. I think the way we’ve got it set up is really neat.
We’ve got great communication between me and - well earlier we were
talking about that really distinct line between a supervisor and a mentor coach
when you do have a mentor coach. And it’s interesting because as a mentor
you have to go in and mentor them and sometimes that supervisor feels like
they’re the bad person because they have to go in and request a change and
then the mentor coach comes in and is the one that helps get to make that

So there is really that distinct line between a supervisor and a mentor coach.
Does that make sense?

Christy Cox: That makes perfect sense. I appreciate you kind of highlighting that again but
those are two different roles

(Melissa Hernandez): They are and what I love about how we’ve set up our program is every
Thursday we meet with the coordinator, the center based specialist which is
the supervisors and myself and the disability person and we just talk about
each classroom and see where we can mentor whether it’s specific things that
a teach needs or if it’s a new employee or there’s a specific (unintelligible)
that needs help. So I love that as a team we come together and really figure
out as a whole how that mentor coach can really provide support. So I hope
that helps.

Christy Cox: Thank you. Would you be willing to be contacted if people wanted to talk to
you more about that?

(Melissa Hernandez): Absolutely. My number here, actually let me get, we’ve got a toll free
number here so it’s 1-866-753-0951 and my extension is 112.

Woman: Christy this is (Carolyn) in Southern Oregon.

Woman: I’m wondering if you can outline for me the differences between this new
curriculum and the one that we’ve had in the past Putting the Pro in Protégée.

Christy Cox: I think that this curriculum - thanks that’s a great question - this Putting the
Pro in Protégée I think is an expanded version of the decisionmakers guide.
So this Putting the Pro in Protégée highlights some of the areas that you
would need to think about if you had a mentoring system or a mentoring
program. I believe that the difference is that Steps to Success is an actual
curriculum or a training that you would go through with mentors and/or
protégées especially specifically looking at how does someone acquire or how
do I help someone acquire mentoring skills or reflected practice skills?

Woman: This is (Cheryl Lynn) in Southern Oregon. I also just have kind of a, just kind
of looking at it from the staffing angle. So if you were to have it formalized,
we have something probably a little less formal than this but if you have a
formalized mentor coaching system how many protégées can a mentor coach
reasonably and really work with at a time? Do you have a theory?

Christy Cox: I definitely have some theories about that. I don’t think that you can have a
whole bunch of time go past and meet quarterly. So I think you want to make
sure that if you have a mentor that has the time to meet with their protégées
and that their protégées have the time to meet with their mentors. Most often I
have seen this where they have some kind of monthly face to face. So it’s
kind of a monthly, they see each other, either the mentor is in the classroom
with the protégée or the protégée is visiting the mentor’s classroom or and this
can be applied to also home visiting to bus drivers to new parents in the

I don’t want to address it only to teachers. We can think outside that box and
think that there’s a mentor for pretty much every role that happens in Head
Start. But there’s that option of seeing people face to face but then following
up with things like e-mails or phone calls in between those monthly face to
face times. So then you just kind of calculate the hours and see how much
time is in a month and how much time does that person need for prepping and
being thoughtful in the mentoring that they’re doing.

Some programs have 10 of the 10 protégée mentors and some have more and

Woman: Christy this is (Anne) and (Cherilyn) in Tacoma, Washington.

Woman: Hi. We, our system’s a little different and I think we’re very lucky that we
have, we’re part of the school district. And so we do have a kind of a blend of
the two. We have supervisors who also provide some teaching strategies and
support that they basically monitor. And then we also have mentors who
provide similar support to the classroom but because they are in the same
union as the teachers are there is sometimes a little question about whether or
not the teachers want the mentors come into their room and give them
feedback when they basically are colleagues.

They have a little problem. Sometimes if the supervisor wants something

specific to happen they can help the mentors to go in the room and help with a
certain activity or strategy but a lot of the time it’s got to be the classroom
staff that asks for help from the mentors. And then sometimes the mentors
even get stuck just teaching in the classroom because the lack of subs that we
have in the district right now. So ours is a little bit of a few things and that’s
the one big thing and I wondered if any other programs had that issue of
mentors being at the same level as who they’re mentoring.

I guess nobody else does.

Christy Cox: Yeah, I was just waiting for that info too, to come out. I don’t, I didn’t hear

Man: Each of these roles, this is (Gene), each of these roles that the mentor could
play is fraught with and comes with some advantages and some disadvantages
and that’s one of them that plays it out that way. I mean certainly this whole
supervisor, mentor, protégée relationship has got to be carefully thought
through because any one, you can set up dynamics whereby the mentor is then
the designee of the supervisor and that really can undermine the whole
relationship with the protégée. So I think the careful thinking about the
relationship and the roles and responsibilities in the first place and then of
course finding staff who can somehow navigate the gray areas and work
cooperatively together.

Christy Cox: I agree with you completely. That’s great. Thank you everyone. I appreciate
very much your time and energy in phoning in and participating and by
participating I mean using that kind of listening and I hope that something
during the phone call helps you either make planful decisions or get in contact
with somebody that you haven’t talked about this with for a while or think
about something giving you the chance and space to think about this in a way
you haven’t maybe had in the past. (Melissa) if you’re still on thank you so
much for your contact info.

And I am very open for phone calls and happy to receive e-mails. When you
do end up with the Steps for Success materials on your doorstep and you’re
wondering kind of what to do with them and where to go I’m really happy to
listen and help you think through your planning stages for that as well.

So thank you everyone. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.